Man in court after remains of girl found in a wardrobe wrapped in clingfilm

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A man has appeared in court charged with preventing the lawful burial of a teenage girl found in a wardrobe wrapped in clingfilm.

Ashley Foster, 24, was charged after the remains of a 17-year-old girl, believed to be Megan Louise Bills from Stourbridge, West Midlands, were found in nearby Brierley Hill on Thursday.

West Midlands Police have informed Miss Bills' next of kin.

Foster, of no fixed address, appeared for a brief hearing at Dudley Magistrates Court on Monday, wearing a T-shirt with the Tapout logo, and flanked by a dock officer.

As he was taken into court he asked his father, who was sitting with family members in the public gallery: "Dad, where's mum?"

He was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial between April 16 and May 4.

Officers had been called to an address in Highgate Road where the remains were discovered, after neighbours reported a smell.

Maxine Jarrousse-Jones, prosecuting, said when police turned up at a flat there, they "found a double wardrobe wrapped in clingfilm".

She added: "The wardrobe was opened and a young female was found inside, deceased, and had been there a considerable amount of time - at least a couple of weeks."

Chairman of the bench Simon Green told Foster the offence could only be dealt with at a higher court and remanded him into custody.

He said: "Today you will be remanded in custody until your next hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court on June 5."

In a statement, released through police, the girl's family said: "We are devastated by the loss of our daughter whose life has so unnecessarily been cut short.

"We appreciate the support we have been given by our family, friends and the police.

"Whilst nothing can fill the huge gap in our family life that Megan's passing has left we trust that in time we will have answers that will help us understand why this dreadful event has occurred.

"We would request that we are left alone to grieve at this emotional time.

"Rest in peace princess."

Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield, the investigating officer, said: "Our hearts go out to Megan's family as they come to terms with this dreadful news and they have asked that they are given the privacy to do so.

"Our investigation is continuing as we work to establish the circumstances of Megan's death so that we can provide her family with the answers they need.

"I would ask anyone with information about Megan's last known movements to come forward."